Sunday, August 21, 2005

adequate theology - reflecting on praxis

photo by johannes burge

as i have been studying and thinking as a practitioner i have realized more and more how much our theology shapes our practice and how much our practice informs our theology. there is a word that is used that best describes this interaction - "praxis". praxis is basically practice in dialectical relation with thought. the point of praxis is a unique convergence of thought and action or theory and practice. praxis is practical action, but would better be defined as practical action that is informed by theory, in such a way that the theory is in turn informed by action. praxis is probably one of five vital elements that is needed if one desires to have an adequate theological perspective.

james probably said it most succintly: "do not merely listen to the word, and so decieve yourselves. do what it says." 1:22

james throughout his book helps us realize that if our theology is simply heard and thought about and "believed", it is not christ-like theology, rather it is a false and deceptive theology. the only way to develop a christ-like theology is by practice. as we practice, we will find our theology is shaped through our practice, and as we think more deeply, we will find that our practice is shaped by our thinking about God. so, if we want to develop an adequate and healthy theology, we must remember the importance of praxis. i hope to share more thoughts on developing an adequate theology later this week.


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